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Full text of "NightRider"

97

adjoining county, six hundred acres of good land, well
watered and gently rolling, with the blue haze of knobs in
the background. His wife's health was getting steadily
worse, and so he brought to keep house for him his older
sister Matilda, who, unmarried, had been teaching in the
smaller country schools of her section.

Tolliver put white fences around the pastures of his farm,
and built new barns and stables, the bams high and red and
the stables low and white like the long fences. He bred
blooded cattle and kept blooded horses, and he grew tobacco,
He always asked advice of old residents in the section and
listened attentively while they gave it. He rode much about
the country, talking to the farmers and fishing and hunting
with them. Then he went into politics, and was elected to
the state senate. When his house burned, he built the new
one, and soon afterward, strangers from Louisville and
Frankfort and Lexington and Nashville began to come to the
new house and drink whisky in the high-ceilinged rooms
and walk out to the stables to look at the horses. After Tolli-
ver went to Congress the first time, people from Washington
and Baltimore began to come, now and then important
people whose names were in the papers. And then Tolliver
was elected to the Senate. But he still rode around the
country and went fishing and hunting with the farmers and
occasionally went to church at the little white weather-
boarded Methodist church at Hope Springs, He did not put
on airs, and often in his campaign speaking he would say,
" I tell you I have known the pinch of poverty and the gnaw-
ing of the belly, and I have known what it is to get up in the
cold dark before sun and go with bare feet out on the frozen
ground." Gradually people forgot that the new house had
been built with his wife's money. And they forgot about her.
She had died very shortly after the house was finished.

As the carriage drew up the slope toward the house, a few
flakes of snow drifted down from the grey sky. They were
visible clinging to the stalks of dead weed by the lace, i

7   "!